AleSmith Speedway Stout | AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States
alesmith.com

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Jet Black, with an off-white head. Starts with a strong coffee and dark chocolate sensation, then fades to a multitude of toasty, roasty and caramel malt flavors. Clean and crisp, full- bodied. Warmth from the high alcohol content lightens up the feel. You won't fool your taste buds - this beer is HUGE!

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-09-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
6,810
Reviews:
1,692
Avg:
4.37
pDev:
8.47%
 
 
Wants:
918
Gots:
2,183
For Trade:
150
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,810 |  Reviews: 1,692
Photo of yourefragile
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle, silver foil over cap, split with a friend to celebrate our birthdays. Purchased last May, so let's say it's about a year old.

Dark, near opaque black liquid with a massive, dense coffee colored head. Amazing retention and lacing, very impressive looking beer. Aroma is also also exceptional, heavy on roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate and light coffee notes. One of the first things we noticed was that we didn't notice any alcohol presence whatsoever. Full bodied, extremely creamy, luscious mouthfeel. Body is sweet, chocolately and molasses like, with roasted malt and finishes with a strong, but not overly bitter coffee taste. One of the most impressive stouts I've had, incredibly well balanced (sometimes with coffee stouts I feel like the coffee is a little overdone, as much as I love coffee).

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Photo of pheggeseth
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into my Darkness goblet.

A: pours pretty thick, settles opaque with virtually no head, spotty lacing

S: roasted malt, dry dark coffee beans, light hops, a little alcohol, not as strong as I was expecting

T: coffee, roasted malt, chocolate in the middle, some hops at the end, just really tasty, can't quite put my finger on it

M: incredibly smooth, but rich, not as acidic as I was expecting

D: very drinkable in my opinion, the alcohol was not too present for my tastes, I could have drunk the whole bottle if I let myself

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Photo of bigpoppa67
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of tamingthebrett
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of SawDog505
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 20 oz Duvel tulip. Pours a midnight black, with a sticky mocha head that leaves plenty of lacing. Smell is roasted expresso, dark chocolate, and carmel. Taste is all about the strong expresso flavor, the nose is awesome, but can't compare to the flavor. Body is medium large, a good amount of life, a little dry, and very drinkable for the size. This is a awesome stout worthy of its place on the top 100.

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Photo of Sephiroth
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to KingG for the bottle. My bottle has a different label than the one shown here on BA, so I'll assume it's kinda fresh, not that it would matter with this beer. Pours with a huge head, I've seen blacker stouts. On the third pour, I finally get some globs of lacing. Smells of chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, and alcohol.

Taste is fu#king amazing! Initial semisweet roasted malt, which quickly turns to burnt malt, coffee, milk chocolate for a tenth of a second, then dark, very dark chocolate. Even the foam tastes good, burnt to a crisp would be an accurate description. Mouthfeel is less oily than some imperial stouts, but as thick and chewy as any. Silky, smooth, and vinous. Incredibly drinkable, albeit very heavy and filling.

I have enjoyed this as much as any imperial stout, save for maybe Rogue Imperial Stout 01, and even then it's a tie.

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Photo of BIN29
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Alphakitty
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of pjwilson
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

from notes. I drank this badboy stout down in the heat of palm desert. Somehow the plan to lay a bottle down quickly morphed into drink immediately. Oh well.

Appearance: poured into a wine glass, the head is a dark tan, not white at all, with lots of lacing. The beer is deep dark black and the head held for as long as can could be excepted for the 12 percent, but would have liked a bit more. Still hands down the darkest foam I've ever seen.

Mouthfeel: a freakin' 6, how can such a dark beer be this light drinking? I've had ESBs that drank thicker than this. Could it be the coffee that makes the mouthfeel this thin? So nice drinking this beer, so easy.

Drinkability: yeah it's super easy to drink. The alcohol sort of made the last 5 ounces take some time but I was going good until then. Really ace.

Taste: Ok, I started this colder than recommended, but shit it's Palm Desert. Extremely tasty sheets of coffee and chocolate hit the tongue. Not "like" coffee and chocolate but dead on in fact. Deep slurps bring on just a hint of booze. A respectable bitterness holds it own and there is a slight sweetness.

Smell: Saved smell for last thinking it might improve but no. The smell is way more boozy than the taste and the coffee and chocolate flavors, which are there but hover in the background. Still pretty good though, and the beer taste's and drinks so well, one hardly cares. A "must buy" again and again.

New review 11/20/10
Pretty, pretty, pretty good

a: pours like black cough syrup, forming a dark tan head. It's like a black hole, can't see any light through it. Kind of hypes you up.

smell: major coffee. but sweet coffee, not bitter. nice

taste: just yum. Doesn't really taste like "beer" but that's okay. So rich and coffee like. Can't taste but a hint of alcohol. I taste chocolate and coffee so who can complain.

mouthfeel: yeah, it's thick. But really, with this alcohol level you need it to be.

drinkability: between a siper and a drinker. For my money a top notch stout.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up in a trade with Kaiser81.

Beer pours black with a tan head. The aroma is strong chocolate with a little bit of coffee and roasted malt. The flavor has more coffee than the aroma but the beer finishes with a nice chocolate flavor, which gets stronger as it warms. There is also a bitter chocolate note that really works well with this beer. You get a little alcohol in the flavor as well. The mouthfeel is very creamy and makes this beer absolutely delicious. This is one of the best stouts I have ever had and I will definitely try it again.

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to fartingdog for this bottle in a trade. Cheers!

The kids are in bed, the wife is out, and Speedway Stout is in my liver. Life is good. Poured right from my cellar. Very black in appearance. Big smell & taste of coffee and chocolate with a hint of booze. Mouthfeel is smooth and the drinkability is a bit affected by the ABV. This is a great beer. At PopeDx's house last year, we did a blind Speedway vs DL tasting & I preferred the Speedway. Nough said.

Highly recommended.

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Photo of PeterParker
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Finally available in NJ! So excited for this.

Pours pitch black with an ample amount of mocha head. Surprising head for the ABV.

Nose is predominantly roasted malts. I'm getting caramel, vanilla, and a little booziness.

The taste is ridiculous. Heaps of coffee and roastiness. Still getting that caramel to complement the stronger flavors here. This bottle is also 6 months old so I'm sure the coffee has faded a bit but it's still strong.

Mouthfeel is superb. Full and thick yet smooth and slick. No alcohol burn and very minimal alcohol taste if any.

This is almost my favorite beer now. Definitely top 5 for me. I think if I could can get my hands on a BA version of this it would be my number one.

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Photo of Thrifty101091
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of puboflyons
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

From the black foil wrapped 750 ml. bottle. Sampled on December 24, 2016.

It pours a dark brown color with a modest, short lasting tan frothy head.

All kinds of aromas including dark sweet malts, coffee grinds, rich malts, fig, plum, char, but a low hop profile. Booze is buried.

Full body and smooth.

This is the kind of stout flavor that other brewers try to emulate. Bold and rich dark malt, dark bread sweetness, dark fruits, vague coffee, wood, slightly smoked, and a mild but easy to handle earthy hop finish. Through and through you would never know this is 12% ABV because the booze is integrated beautifully into this beer. Although my head will feel it later.

I usually have to think carefully about spending $15 on a single bottle of beer but this is worth that.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, I've had the bottle at least a year and a half but I'm not exactly sure how much older than that it is. Served in a snifter, the beer pours black with about a half inch brown head. Head retention and lacing is decent. It smells like coffee, roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, caramel and molasses. The taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some dark fruit (cherries) and vanilla noticable too. Although the bitter coffee comes out the most in this brew, there's also a good amount of sweetness. Mouthfeel/body is full, it's creamy, rich, slick and velvety smooth. Drinkability is pretty good, the alcohol is well hidden but after finishing a bottle of it you know it's there. This is definitely an excellent brew. I think it's worth the money, and I would recommend this to others.

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Photo of hyuga
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I think this is the 2002 bottling. Pours jet black with very little head, which is almost brown. That's understandable for a beer with this much alcohol. Roasted coffee beans are definitely in the aroma, as well as massive blackened chocolate and a little caramel along with some faint hoppiness. Faint alcohol presence. Extremely rich and robust flavors, and an absolutely creamy mouthfeel. Massive rush of dark chocolate and coffee, all burnt to a crisp. A little charred caramel and molasses here and there. Leafy and slightly rind-like hops provide the small amount of balance this needs. They come out more in the back and definitely in the finish. No alcohol is detectable after it's in your mouth. Just the way an imperial stout should be. It really doesn't need a head to add anything to the mouthfeel. Very well done, the coffee beans added to this brew are not out of place at all, they add quite a bit to it. A must-try for imperial stout lovers! My second favorite imperial stout.

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Photo of Axic10
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 750ml bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a pitch black with two fingers of mocha colored head that settles down to about a finger for the rest of the drink.

Smell: Rich dark chocolate, fudge brownies, roasted malt, roasted coffee, cocoa and some molasses. As it warms the aroma has a hint of alcohol burn but the aroma is just amazing.

Taste: Dark chocolate, roasted malts, coffee and cocoa balanced together nicely. Slight alcohol burn, but nothing offensive.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and incredibly smooth.

Drinkability: Wow, while I can't drink more than a bottle of this in an evening, I giving this a 5 for drinkability, because I will definitely be buying this again. Such a tasty stout. I would really love to try the BA version of this and compare.

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Photo of SpruceFish
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- pitch black dark brown head very little lacing head stated nice though out

S- wow this one is intense 1st off plenty of coffee lots of chocolate then sweet dried fruits (raisins, dried cranberries, and some prunes) then i sensed perhaps a smell bourbony undertone

T- as my friend said it kicks you in the mouth coffee, chocolate, sour dried fruits very interesting in a stout very balanced a nice bitterness at the finish

M- good carbonation thick in the mouth how a stout should be

D- probably the best of any beer is have ever had with an ABV this high i could drink this all day not a hint of booz here at all

what a great beer

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

"Streetlights bend into the void, cars enveloped into the darkness, deeper than a blind man's sleep, soon to paint the world." - Black Dahlia Murder

This is as a dark, evil double stout should be.

Pours tamarind paste black with dark brown edges. Sits thick and gooey bottomless pit black in my glass like a black hole sucking in the light. Large, creamy tan head leaves spider vein lacing strewn about mine glass. Bottle aged 1 year in the cellar.

Cocoa powder, burnt caramel roast malt, and espresso aroma. Some dark fruit and maybe even a few pine needles from persistent hops? It's not the complexity that shines here, just the utter perfection.

Coffee, bittersweet cocoa, dark fruit. Dark and rich as all get out. Underlying alcoholic warmth is embracing as a warm hug. Sigh. No real hop flavor but I can tell they're they're as a supporting role, pushing the malty richness forward. This beer is so dark, strong and evil looking it wouldn't hesitate to punch a napping kitten.

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Photo of demitriustown
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big Bottle: From a trade with pantanap (A big Thanks!) Aroma coffee, Chocolate cake, big on malts, roasty, a light hop backing and raisins. Appearance is pitch black with a medium sized brown head tht diminishes into a thin tan film. Taste starts out with and upfront malt and chocolate note. Somewhat grainy at first. Then transforms into something totally different. (I love it when beers do this) Many phases to the taste and palate of this brew including a slight alcohol twinge in the middle, but smooths out with a roasted malt and caramel taste. Nicely complex.

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Photo of zac16125
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750mL bottle poured into a snifter
no born on date or other distinguishing numbers, but was purchased in 2011

A: Pours a viscous opaque black with 1 fingers width of espresso colored head. Moderately good retention down to a thin film, leaves a decent amount of patchy lacing.

S: Big aroma, dark fruits(fig and plum) at first then the roasted malt, coffee, and milk chocolate aromas come out. A subtle smokey character as well, and maybe a touch of oak, with the alcohol making itself known as the beer warms. Complex, deep, and very strong aromas. Superb.

T: The first sip is big milk chocolate with roasted malt on the backend then coffee lingering in the aftertaste. Other flavors noted are dark chocolate, bold roast coffee, a nutty character, dark fruits, a touch of hop bitterness, and a hint of vanilla. The alcohol starts to make itself known towards the end of the bomber, but acts as a balancing agent to add to rather than distract from the palate profile. The flavors are so strong, particularly the chocolate and coffee (this coming from someone who enjoys drinking black coffee of the boldest roast he can find). Finishes a little harsh, with the alcohol coming out pretty strong, but prior to that it was bordering on perfection so it still gains high marks.

M/D: So smooth. Full bodied, low to moderate carbonation, silky smooth oily mouthfeel to let the flavors coat the palate, and a wet finish. Nice job of masking a whopping 12%ABV. Quite drinkable considering the huge flavors and big ABV.

O: Overall, what a fantastic RIS. Amazing aroma, which is backed up by a fantastic palate profile, silky smooth mouthfeel and good drinkability. World class, neck and neck with the Abyss as my all time favorite RIS.

Re-reviewed on 6/22/13. Dozens of Imperial stouts later has this one is les epic than I remembered, but still excellent. Repeat rankings were:
A: 4.75
S: 4.5
T: 4.5
M/D: 4
O: 4.5
Probably a truer reflection of this beer than my overly high noob-ish rating. But for now I am going to leave the original ranking. Ill try it again soon and give it a best 2 out of 3.

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Photo of pnelting
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Great mouthfeel, really thick and creamy. Perfect balance of coffee.

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Photo of beerhappy
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First time having this beer and, actually, a first from the Alesmith brand for me. Poured into a tulip leaving 2 fingers of an exceptionally rich looking head. The smell confirms to me that it is what I thought it had the potential to be (after reading the label): a beautiful alternative to the alchoholic/energy drink/malternative crap or the vodka redbull/jagerbomb junk that most of my friends seem to enjoy soooo much. Please know that I am a huge coffee fan and... the smell of this brew is an absolute delight to my senses. Roasted dark malt, fine dark chocolate, lots of espresso & alchohol.

The taste and mouthfeel then pick up where the nose leaves off. Let me tell you, I had this one in the fridge for a couple of days before opening and, I wish that my fridge was not set to such a low temperature because this bottle really seemed to open up after being left out before the second pour. The taste is cohesive with the smell in that it is a superb combination of ingredients beer making wizardry... however the way that this beer feels gliding around on your palate adds something to the overall enjoyment of this beer that is hard to explain. The mix of carbonation and thickness is done to perfection and, after giving it some thought, this seems to be one of the most difficult things to achieve when making a brew: sublime texture. I have never attempted to make beer so I wouldn't know, but I have noticed that this trait is consistent in some of the finer brewerys and lacking in others. Well done Ale Smith!
I have my eye on your Wee Heavy next.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

25.4 oz bottle received via trade with bennetj17. Thanks a bunch! Poured into my Duvel tulip

A: Pitch black with a thick dark brown head. Looks pretty in my glass

S: Intoxicating with chocolate, coffee, cream, all in beautiful balance. There hints of molasses and raisins too.

T: Coffee and chocolate up front with a pleasant roast flavor. The cream and the raisins come through for a little bit.This baby's full-bodied and finishes smooth and semi-sweet.

M: Slick, full-bodied and palate coating.

D: I'd be had pressed to peg this at anything above 6%. At 12%, I have no idea how they hide the alcohol the way they do.

**Edit 9 Feb 2012**
Drinking my one bottle from 2007 that my aunt was kind enough to get me. This is the green champagne bottle.

The nose is simply stunning. Rich, dark fruit character with plums, some raisins, chocolate and faint coffee notes, this has oxidized in a rather stunning fashion. Mild licorice, brown sugar and molasses are present. Very smooth, this reminds me a lot of the 03 BA Speedway. The palate is sublime. Smooth chocolate, raisins, port, red grape juice, and rather surprisingly, a little bit of a coffee character remains. Coupled with the sweetness, it brings to mind a cafe cubano. Rich, decadent and awesome with fudge, caramel. Ridiculously good. 4.5/5/5

**Edit 3rd May 2013**

Drinking my lone bottle of the 2004 vintage that I received from Faro. Thanks, man.

The nose is super mellow. A blend of mild soy, raisins, dark fruit, a little bit of alcohol, moderate sweetness, this smells great. This is clearly aged but not really old. The palate opens with a vinous sweetness, medium full in body, mildly carbonated with a blend of raisins and chocolate, very fruity, mildly soy-like, a touch of caramel, and towards the very end, just a little bit of paper. Medium-full in body, lightly carbonated,this has a long finish with a blend of mild char, chocolate, caramel and a little bit of soy. Very nice.
4.25/4.5/4.5

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Photo of iconoklaztor
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Note: 2006 Vintage

This beer smells fantastic! Holy Hell!! As soon as I smell this black, holy shit of a beer I knew what it was going to taste like. Chocolate malts! The beer is very reminiscent of another very popular beer. *cough* stone *cough*

The mouthfeel is creamy and complex. I have a feeling this brew will produce a nice warm buzz. The drinkability of this SS is that of a creamy, warm cocoa.

Overall, this brew is a beautiful example what an Imperial Stout should be. I WOULD LOVE to drink it often. Its just a beautiful beer.
---
2011

Recent bottles have been very acidic and harsh tasting. Not nearly as nice as the 06 vintage.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,810 ratings.
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